The Drought and American Families: How It Will Affect You at the Supermarket

While the media has barely uttered the D-word since fall, Mother Nature hasn’t spontaneously healed the Midwest. The Drought of 2012 has run over into 2013 and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's most recent explanation--that the staggeringly dry conditions were the unforeseeable combination of two key periods during which the region simply lacked rainfall--has done little to ease the fears of many whom are hardest hit. Meanwhile, observant onlookers are noticing an uncanny resemblance to the conditions we saw during the early stages of the 1930s Dust Bowl. ...more
Great article, Diana.  My husband and I farm and raise cattle in Nebraska.  Nebraska was hit ...more

Guns, Immigration and The Real Problem on The Right

Last week, the right got lucky.Really lucky, as pressure from lobbyists and staunchly conservative home bases for many Republican and a few Democratic senators combined to defeat the President's controversial gun control bill. And now, they find themselves in an even more dangerous position than before; one where it would be all too easy to become complacent, to chalk one superficial win up as an indication of the strength of their overall strategy. ...more
I think you hae some great ideas here. I hope others are listening!  I have shared on my facebook.more

For Boston: The Healing Power of Food

“My wonderful breakfast!” These three words -- a caption that accompanied a photo of the fruit salad Lu Lingzi enjoyed Monday morning -- remain a simple but powerful reminder of a tie that binds. In times of great joy and those of enormous sadness, across lines of geography, race, and religion. It is no mistake that churches emphasize the breaking of bread, that business meetings are held over lunch, that celebrations almost always include a meal. We all have to eat, and, to an enormous extent, we all enjoy and seek solace in it. At its most basic it is an act of survival, at its epitome a sacred ritual. No where is this more clear than in Boston....more

Happy Pig Day and a Brief History of American Pork

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” and those times, if we’re talking about the origins of our modern day pigs, were before--and for a relatively brief period immediately following--the turn of the 20th century. Though we like to romanticize the middle of the century in our quest for cleaner, simpler, homier food; by 1920 specialization and automation were already well under way in rural America. The 1950s, that pearl-bedazzled, apron-studded era of our foodie dreams, was marked by a more rapid industrialization of the food system than, perhaps, any that had come before it. By 1956 the agriculture industry was already training its hog farmers to produce ever leaner hogs to satisfy the increasingly scrutinizing tastes of American housewives. ...more
Interesting-- one of my grandfathers, who died before I was born, was famed for the quality of ...more

Canning Dry Beans at Home

There was a time when I could not fathom the reasons for canning beans at home.  In their dry state beans are already shelf stable, after all.  And they keep longer than their canned counterparts to boot.  But then I had kids.  Kids who grew to have friends and interests and extracurriculars and the propensity for making great messes.  Kids who started to take upentirely too much of my time and mental capacity....more

Canning Meat at Home

While I certainly wouldn't tell you to pass up the opportunity to put a few jars of venison in your pantry should you have the chance (it's a scrumptious treat), just about any type of meat you can think of is cannable, and there's something to be said for having a quick meal on the shelves regardless of variety....more

Are One-Term Presidents the New Trend?

It may seem bold to make presidential predictions four years in advance -- especially during an election cycle when pundits can't even seem to decide what's going to happen tomorrow -- but one thing is for sure: whoever leads the Free World into the next four years is going to have his hands full. So full, in fact, if that man happens to be Mitt Romney, we may very well end up with two one-term presidents in a row. ...more
4 years is not a lot of time to change a system that has been broken for a very long time. I ...more

How to Can Pumpkin

As far as I'm concerned, one of the greatest horrors in modern home preserving is the fact that pureed pumpkin in all its forms is not safe for canning at home....more
@Julie Letowski I won't lie, I'm one of those people who is inclined to live on the edge with ...more

Mitt Buys Surrogate With Abortion Clause, But No Backbone

Mittens may be richer than your average bear, but if the past two weeks of lackluster campaign coverage have taught us anything, it's backbones are hard to come by -- even for men with friends in high places....more
This isn't the first time a Republican candidate advocated choice for his own family but no ...more

Canning at Home: An Apple a Day

There's something about the month of September. It beckons sweaters and tall boots, fills the nose with the scent of freshly sharpened pencils and newly opened crayons. There's something about the flip of the calendar that affects the tastebuds too; that makes us crave comfort foods—apples, pumpkin, filling soups, and stick-to-your-ribs casseroles....more
 @Laine Griffin I'm glad you enjoyed it.  Tomatoes are one of my favorite things to can, I'm ...more